Chapter 1: The Birth
Harry’s body felt heavy like it was being weighed down by an invisible force. He hadn’t felt this tired and weak since he’d faced a swarm of Dementors intent on attacking himself and Sirius in his third year. He ignored the strange feeling of wrongness about the situation and focused on his struggle to get his mind operational. Why was he so sluggish?
Whose voice was that? It wasn’t one he was familiar with. The strange feeling strengthened. Merlin, he felt like his mind had been stuffed with cotton.
“You must wake up!”
The feeling began pushing against his mind, trying to bring him into awareness. Telling him, alongside the strange voice, that he needed to get up. The feeling was familiar, but he couldn’t place it. What was the last thing he remembered? Wait, the Dementors! Dudley! The strange men who caught him using magic!
The feeling (instincts, magic!) slammed against his mind, forcing him awake in a manner that the strange voice could never achieve. Energy (his magic) surged through and from him in a near frantic burst, as finally the sheer wrongness (of his body, his clothes, the feel of the place around him) swamped his mind. The sound of a machine short-circuiting under his head launched him to his feet. Machines couldn’t work near magic, he knew that. But he never did know what happened when a machine was unexpectedly exposed to raw magic. It could explode for all he knew. But why was he laying on a machine?
Green eyes flicked about, pausing to peer blurrily at the brightly lit (metal?) room he was in. A hand went to his face, where were his glasses? He needed them! Though things were clearer than he was used to. And his wand! Where was it?
“Where am I? What is this place?” He could hear the distant sound of some form of alarm.
“Come.” Harry jolted, spinning in place. That voice again. Where was it coming from? “There’s not much time.”
“Who-Who are you?” He asked, hoping the person would respond.
“You must get out of there!” Harry was jolted from his search for the voice by the sudden blare of what sounded like an emergency alarm, the slam of steel on steel, and a hiss that reminded him of the time the propane stove sprung a leak. Gas!
“Quickly! You have to jump!” Green eyes shot upwards, spotting the closing windows (?) far above his head.
“I can’t jump that high!” He squawked. While he was a great seeker, he just didn’t have the athletics for something like that!
“You must! There’s no time!” the voice insisted. Harry made a small growl in the back of his throat.
“Whoever you are, I hope you know what you’re talking about!” He shouted. His legs flexed, and he made an almighty leap, arms held up to protect his head. He felt the glass break as his body moved through it, flipping mid-air and only just landing on his feet thanks to his Quidditch-honed reflexes. He heard a male voice shout for guards to appear. He looked down at his blurry hand in confusion.
“What’s going on? Why is my body so light? I could’ve never made a jump like that before…” He heard a door open behind him. He turned to see three (four?) shapes behind him.
“Don’t move!” Shouted a monotone metallic voice. Were those things robots?! But they were only science fiction! Harry shouted the only thing he could think of that seemed to fit the situation.
“Bloody Hell!” He jolted back, whipping around and taking off at a run. He did not want to find out what those things could do. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite react fast enough. A shout of pain ripped from his throat as what sounded like a machine gun went off and a wave of pain shot up his back. Yet there was no blood that he could feel. Rubber bullets, maybe? He stumbled and fell.
“Target has ceased all movement.” Stated the same metallic voice from before.
Harry grunted, slowly pushing himself up. He braced himself against the wall as he climbed to his feet, he could feel the dents in the wall from where the bullets that had missed him had hit. Okay, so they weren’t rubber. How was he unharmed then?
One of the robots slammed him against the wall, part of it crushing under the force. The robot holding him leaned in close.
“Go back to your room.” It stated blankly. Harry had a sickening flash of when he was younger, and Vernon had held him in a similar position. Instincts and magic roared as one, and Harry ripped apart the hand holding him in place in a fit of panic. He darted past the other hand reaching for him, using his small stature to his advantage to avoid the others as well. Another burst of magic surged from his core, shutting down the robot nearest him and momentarily freezing the others. He desperately wished he had his wand, but ended up punching the next robot that attacked him. Somehow, his normally feeble physical strength punched clean through the robot. It exploded, pieces of it shooting out and destroying the other two robots. Breathing heavy, Harry looked down at his hands again.
“What is this? How can I do this?” He whispered, his voice shaking.
“Don’t be afraid, these are your powers,” said the voice from earlier.
“Powers? What powers? What is going on?!”
“You will soon find out.” Harry gripped his head, stress and fear finally registering.
“Who are you? Where are you talking to me from?”
“I am 001.” the voice, 001 introduced. “I’m talking to you through a telepathic ability. I’m talking directly into your mind.”
“001? Telepathy? Into my mind?” Harry asked, forcing himself to calm down. Now was not the time to panic. Panicking was a bad idea, especially when it came to magic. And he could feel how out of balance his magical core was at the moment. And he still needed to figure out where his wand was. He was sure his (sort of) accidental magic would have alerted the ministry by now. Metal clanking drew him back into the present. “Bloody stars, there’s more of them? I need to get out of here.”
“Go through the entrance in front of you.” Harry straightened up, looking to where the robots had first come in from. His eyes narrowed and he nodded, running out the door. He shot around a corner, stopping as a group of robots appeared in front of him. He took a half-step back. “There’s an air vent above you.”
Harry looked up, spotting the place 001 was referring to with a touch of difficulty due to his current eye troubles. Smoothly, he leaped up, bursting through the vent in the same manner as the glass ceiling of the room he’d awoken in. Only this time he did so without completely destroying it. He took off down the air duct, listening as the robots filled the path behind him with bullets. The wizard spotted a darker spot on the right side of the duct ahead of him. He dove down it feet first. Memories of the slide into the Chamber of Secrets rose into his mind. He quickly shoved them aside. If 001 could talk to him through his mind, then what stopped the stranger from seeing the memories that surfaced in it?
Instincts blaring, Harry snapped out his hand and caught hold of a pipe at the end of the shaft, dislodging it from the rest of the piping. Steam shot out of the pipe and the teen could feel the heat under his palms. He stared down at the pipe filled abyss beneath him. An orange-red glow shone far below but was rising at an alarming pace. That definitely wasn’t good. Harry sucked in a breath between his teeth and could feel his magic reacting to the perceived danger, wrapping itself around his body like a cocoon to protect him from the coming column of fire. The column sent him soaring into the air in helpless freefall. He bounced off the ground. Hard. He let out a groan of pain. At least his magic had made it so that he was left singed instead of being charbroiled.
Standing as he dusted himself off, his attention was caught by the strange and unfamiliar surroundings. The teen quickly realized he had no idea where he was.
“What is this place? Just where the bloody hell have I been taken?” He looked around, his seeker level eyes quickly noticing a swarm of tanks approaching in the distance. “T-tanks? Oh, this day just keeps getting worse!”
“*Target detected! *” a static-filled voice shouted in his mind making the British boy flinch and grip his head.
“Again with the voices in my head.” He groaned, trying to fight off the coming migraine. “Is it you again?”
“No, the radio transmitter inside you isn’t stable yet,” said 001. “So you’re picking up the transmission from those tanks.”
“*Target acquired, capture it! *”
“They’re talking about you. You’re very popular.” Harry almost snarled at him.
“What are you talking about?! They’re going to attack me!” One of the tanks fired, the shot hitting far too close for Harry’s comfort and sending him into the air with a shout. He just barely managed to land on his feet, skidding backward. “Bloody hell, why do they keep throwing me around like that?”
He hurriedly tried to figure out what to do. He wasn’t a violent person, no matter what the wizarding world had tried to insinuate about him, but that didn’t mean he didn’t know how to fight. With Dudley for a cousin, it pretty much came with the territory. A machine gun went off from one of the tanks, and from there the fight was a flurry of bullets, crushing metal, and explosions. The only things on the young wizard’s mind were to fight and to survive. It was only when he spotted people scrambling out of one of the tanks that he paused.
“There were people inside?” he asked, a touch of surprise in his tone. He winced as a bullet hit the side of his head. He turned to the top of the tank, where a shaky soldier had him at gunpoint.
“Mo-monster!” Harry frowned at him, not even noticing that the man wasn’t speaking English.
“Oh, bugger off! I didn’t know there were people in there!” He snapped, making the soldier jump in fright. He was far too used to being under pressure for the gun to really bother him. Besides he was, apparently, bulletproof. “With all the robots I thought these would be automatic too…” The man gasped, then darted out of the tank, which suddenly had two holes in it before exploding. Harry swore colorfully as he was blasted off, rolling arse over tea-kettle across the ground. Green eyes flicked upwards.
Standing on the stone ridge above were more soldiers, holding some form of long-range weapons (rocket launchers?).
“Bloody Merlin, they’re shooting at their own men! I thought only…” he shoved those thoughts aside, not wanting 001 to catch a glimpse of them. Magic was kept a secret for a reason. Nervously, he stepped back. He knew he seemed bulletproof right now, but he wasn’t sure how he’d hold up against a rocket explosion. He stepped back, and felt rocks crumbling beneath his feet. Eyes widening slightly, he looked behind him. Bugger, they’d backed him against a cliff. Were they near an ocean?
His mind pulled up an image of the black lake. The water looked about as deep as the lake by the school cliffs. His jaw set. He’d have to take the chance. He spun in place and took the dive. If he died, then, well, he wouldn’t think about it. He squeezed his eyes shut waiting for when he’d hit the water. The world was muffled as he was submerged in the sea. Practice from flying allowed him to quickly figure out which way was up and where the surface was. His head broke the through the surface with a gasp. He looked around. He needed to figure out where to go from there. Further thoughts were, unfortunately, banished when he felt a set of jaws slam shut on his waist, yanking him under.
C-can’t breathe! He thought frantically. He struggled in the jaws, trying to get free without losing his breath, but was startled into gasping when the jaws tightened around him. Strangely, though he could feel the water entering his body, he didn’t feel like he was drowning. Wait a minute, I CAN breathe. What the heck is going on? One eye opened to look at his strange captor. He knew that, for some reason, he was drastically farsighted at the moment (as opposed to being nearly blind) but he was sure he’d at least be able to make out what was attacking him. Another gasp escaped him.
I’m being attacked by a shark?! How am I not dead yet?! To Harry’s luck, he remembered a television show his cousin had been watching. The announcers had said shark eyes were extremely sensitive, and hitting them could get them to release a person even if they were in a frenzy. He reeled a fist back and slammed it into the shark’s eye. He felt something break beneath his fist and something like metal.
Another bloody robot?! How many of them ARE there? Harry thought furiously. He wrenched himself free and tried swimming away. He had to figure out how to escape! A missile from the sharkbot hit him sending spiraling off course in his bid for the surface. He gritted his teeth, mentally prepping for an underwater battle, only for something or someone else to defeat his attacker. A flash of light entered his vision, then the sharkbot was destroyed in an underwater explosion. Harry squinted through the oil left in the water.
A… A person? He wondered. He tried to see them more clearly but lost sight of them. He shook his head and searched for the coastline. Which way do I go?
“To your left, the beach is that way.” Harry let out a relieved sighed, which showed as a stream of bubbles escaping his mouth. That was much better than trying to guess which way to go. He swooped to his left. He really hoped this 001 person wasn’t just stringing him along. After being pushed into a rock by the tide (which, to Harry’s usual luck and dismay, was coming in), Harry hauled himself onto the shore with a sigh.
“What’s going on? What is this?” He asked no one in particular. “Why do I have these powers all of a sudden?”
“If I explained everything, you would only be more confused. If you do what I tell you, you’ll find your answer at the end.”
“Fine. But you better have some good answers when I find you.”
“Understood, climb the cliff in front of you.” Harry looked up at the mass of brown ahead.
“Wonderful,” he grumbled, before sighing. “Better get climbing then. Who knows when those people will show up again.”
As it turned out, they showed up about halfway through his climb. In a pair of planes with a set of machine guns attached. Harry swore again as the rock under his fingers crumble and he fell back to the sandy beach. He lay there for a few moments, panting.
“Why? Why is it that, even when I follow your instructions to the letter, I just keep bumping into the enemy.”
“Sorry, but I picked this route specifically so you’d have to face the enemy. I want to see more of your powers.” Harry stiffened at that. The teen snarled.
“Stop fooling around! Come out and show yourself!” He jolted at the sound of the approaching planes. He’d nearly forgotten them. They open fired on him, forcing him to dodge to the best of his ability. “When I finally meet you, I’ll punch your lights out!”
“I don’t think you’ll want to hit me. Watch out! In front of you!” Harry looked up to see the two planes banking in mid-air. Clearly intent on getting him. “Press the switch on your back tooth.”
“Switch?” Harry flicked his tongue back to feel what 001 was talking about. The planes started firing at him again.
“Press it!” Gritting his teeth together, he pressed on the switch in his back right molar. And the world slowed to a crawl. Harry’s eyes widened in shock.
“What-what is this?” He looked up at the planes. It was like the world had been set into slow motion.
“Your Acceleration Mode. Right now the area around you cannot keep up with your speed.” Thoroughly shaken, Harry asked,
“Great, now how do I turn it off?!” As soon as he finished saying that, the world returned to normal speed and he was slammed into by one of the plane wings. He instinctively clung to it as the plane took off with its’ new, unwilling passenger. He adjusted his weight and started climbing towards the cockpit. He hoped he could talk the piolet into landing before he got them BOTH killed. This plan was quickly discarded when he found that the plane didn’t have a piolet, meaning it had some kind of auto-piolet feature. Or it was one of those drone planes he’d heard about on the news.
“Oh bugger. What do the red lights mean?” He muttered. He got his answer when he looked ahead. The two planes were going to collide. “Bloody stars! I need to stop answering my own questions!” He jumped off the plane, not wanting to be caught in the coming explosion. He twisted mid-air hoping that his body and his magic would be strong enough to survive the landing. Before he could formulate a method to use his magic to help him, an unfamiliar arm grabbed ahold of him, wrenching him sideways. Harry quickly realized that, somehow, the person who saved him was flying. Under their own power. He twisted slightly, trying to see who’d caught him.
“Careful there, you’ll fall if you make me lose my grip.” The blurred person said to him. The only things Harry could really pick out about them was that they were male, had red hair, and an oddly beak-like nose. While the man was speaking English, Harry was pretty sure it wasn’t British English. “But if you want to fall, just say so. Any place in particular?” Harry shook his head with a muttered “no thanks”.
“Something tells me you’re not 001, are you?” His voice was too deep to belong to the person who’d been talking into the young wizard’s head. Harry had the feeling the redhead smiled at him.
“Got that right, I’m 002.”
“Don’t call me by my number.” Harry blinked at him, opening his mouth to ask what the red-head wanted the teen to call him then, but was cut off before he could ask. “Let’s go then.” Harry bit back a yelp as they sped up. He turned his head to look in the direction 002 (since he didn’t know what else to call him) was flying. There was an island far below them that the flying person seemed to be heading for. He couldn’t hold back the small smile that wormed its way onto his face. He always did love flying, though he would have preferred something a little more under his control. But it was still nice.
“I take it we’re headed for the island?”
“Yup, the others are expecting us.”
002 swooped low, dropping Harry before landing himself. Not expecting it, the brit stumbled, bumping into someone much taller than him. The tall person was kind enough to catch him before he fell on his face, and neatly set him back on his feet. Harry (who was just barely average height) couldn’t help feeling dwarfed by the giant dark-skinned man. But Harry was pretty sure the man wasn’t as tall as Hagrid. Harry swept his gaze over the group around him, a small part of him was thankful that they all seemed to have vastly different appearances, even to his blurry eyes.
“Who are you people?”
“Looks like a friend.” Said one of the people standing on the ridge. He had a mostly skin colored head, leading Harry to believe he was bald. He also had a far more familiar accent. Definitely a London one.
“Seems like you’re right. Are we lucky or unlucky?” asked the person nearest the bald man. He was the only person white hair and a light complexion, and an accent Harry couldn’t quite place. German perhaps?
“Friend?” Harry asked, genuinely confused by the response given.
“We all have powers, like you.” Said 001’s voice. The girl (he was pretty sure she was a girl) with blonde hair, hopped down, carefully approaching him. In her arms was a small blur of blue-grey hair and what looked almost like a bib. A baby? His eyes widened.
“It couldn’t be- Are you-?”
“Yes, I’m 001.” The baby, now identified as 001, answered. “You don’t still feel like punching my lights out, do you?” Harry bent closer, an unimpressed frown on his face.
“Not really, but spanking you seems rather appealing.” He was rewarded with a small “Erk!” from the child and muffled snickers from various members of the group. The girls’ head suddenly shot up. Harry quickly turned, wondering if she’d seen something in the distance.
“Are they coming again, 003?” Asked 002. The girl, 003 he assumed, was quiet for a moment.
“Robot military. There are many of them over the mountains.” She stated calmly. Harry let out an impressed whistle.
“Wow, you can see beyond the mountains?” Harry asked, sounding as impressed as he felt. He’d only ever dreamed of seeing that well. But she seemed unhappy about it. The grey-haired man stepped forward, getting down on one knee. For some reason, his knee made a strange clanking noise and suddenly there was a patch of grey and red between his red of his pants and the black of his boot.
“Guess we strike first. 003, guide me.” Harry squinted slightly, still trying to figure out what the man planned to do. He glanced at Harry. “This ain’t for showing off.”
“Ready? Wards 20 o’clock, up 37 degrees.” Harry watched the man shift, then two missiles (rockets?!) shot from his knew. Green eyes easily tracked their flight pattern over the mountain, watching the debris cloud kicked up from the collision as it rose over the mountain. 003 spoke up again.
“Behind them, there are tanks coming.”
Great. Just what I need. More tanks shooting at me. Harry thought in frustration, a frown settling on his face. Feeling out of place, Harry just listened as they spoke. Clearly, they knew more about what was happening than he did.
“Are there people inside?” asked 002.
“They don’t get tired, do they?” asked a short, stout looking man (with yet another accent Harry didn’t recognize). Another dark-skinned man, with oddly light short hair, spoke up.
“The airport is in that direction, right?”
“Guess we’re heading on.” Said the man who, apparently, could fire missiles from his legs. The previous speaker sighed.
“There’s never an end.” Harry watched as the rest of the men in the group (not counting 001) pull a strange, silver thing from their belts. Guns of some kind? Harry looked back to where the tanks were. Once again he wished he had his wand as the rounds from the tanks soared through the air, right at their ragtag group. Stomping down on the urge to shout “pretago maxima!” at the top of his lungs, the wizard watched his companions (?) shoot down the missile-like rounds both destroying them and detonating them early. More tank shots burst through the cloud of smoke and Harry’s right arm started lifting. Even if he got in trouble for using magic in front of muggles, he couldn’t just sit back and let them die! It just wasn’t in his nature!
He was stopped from revealing himself when 001 created a barrier of his own to protect the group. 002 took off into the air, still holding his gun. Harry watched in amazement as the redhead expertly flew through the air, using his weapon to shoot out the treads of the tanks as he flew by them with the grace and accuracy of a bird of prey. Harry couldn’t help comparing him to a red-tailed hawk. Merlin, he’d only dreamed of being able to fly as freely and gracefully as that, and now he’d met someone who actually could! And he was a muggle no less! Sometimes, life just wasn’t fair.
The silver-haired man fired off another rocket from one of his legs, destroying more tanks by causing a rock outcropping to collapse atop of them. The large rocks easily crushed the metal beneath them. The man’s expression was controlled and calm, with a focused frown set firmly in place. It took all his self-control to not gape when the man started shooting bullets (honest to Circe bullets!) from the fingers of his right hand at the robots advancing towards him. It seemed that, unlike what Harry had first thought, he was not wearing some kind of glove, but in fact had some kind of metal prostatic.
The teen watched with wide eyes as the large man who’d stopped him from falling on his face earlier ripped the top off of a tank, with the soldiers hanging helplessly from it after attempting to keep each other from being lifted. The man then tossed them aside, far enough to daze them, but not enough to hurt them. Harry watched him stop another tank as it tried to run him over, lifted the steel vehicle over his head, then pitched it a good thirty meters. While not as flashy as the other two fighters, it was an impressive display in its own right.
“That’s 005. He has a body of steel and the strength of 1,000 people.” 001 said calmly, not needing to point out who he meant to Harry.
“Remind me to never get on his bad side,” Harry muttered. Wow, and I thought Hagrid was strong… He idly wondered if the man was half-giant like Hagrid. It would certainly explain a lot.
“Seems like it’s my turn.” Harry looked back at the pudgy man who’d spoken as he blew out a stream of fire and dove into the ground.
“006- Nicknamed the mole. He can breathe out flames as hot as 3,000 degrees and can melt anything.” Harry watched as 006’s flames made the ground under the tanks so unstable that not only did it crumble beneath them, but fire shot up out of every crack beneath the tanks. 006 popped out of the ground and laughed something the green-eyed boy couldn’t hear, only for the small rock he was standing on to give out under his feet. So much for the “cool guy” pose he’d struck.
The bald man leaned out of a rock and knock out three soldiers with a metal hammer before the rock actually molded into his body. He tapped his bellybutton and turned into a kangaroo as 001 spoke up once more. Harry knew about animagi, but he’d never heard of a person who could turn themselves into an object without a wand!
“007, by pressing the switch on his bellybutton, he can transform into anything.” Harry watched 007 as he hopped up onto the nearest tank, popped open the lid, pulled a bomb from his pouch, and dropped it inside. Harry had no idea where he’d gotten the bomb from, or how he’d put it in his pouch, and he was pretty sure he didn’t want to know. Four more robot soldiers were shot down by the dark (nearly black) skinned man. He smoothly ran into the opposing numbers, taking down enemies with an efficiency that would have made any Auror worth his galleons proud.
“008, professional fighter. Although he’s at his best under water, where he can breathe and swim like a fish.” Harry had a flashback of the man he’d seen in the water who’d taken out the Sharkbot for him.
“So that was him I saw earlier…” he murmured. He watched 002 swoop low and ensnare a small group of soldiers with a decent sized length of rope. Before he easily lifted the group and dropped them with the other captured soldiers.
“002, with his jet engine powered boots he can fly anywhere.” 001 stated though it wasn’t really necessary, as the older male had already (sort of) introduced himself to Harry.
Harry watched as the bound up soldiers were all dropped in the same place. Harry, while still nervous about letting the men go, was glad none of them had been killed. Even after everything he’d been through, death still didn’t sit well with him.
“That’s right, we prefer to not take people’s lives.” 001 said his mental voice calm. Harry looked at him, a flicker of surprise on his face. “I can easily tell what’s going on in your confused mind, but I want you to come with us.” Harry’s eyes trailed up to 003’s face, or where he was pretty sure it was.
“I want you to trust us.” She said, her voice soft but firm. Harry blinked at her. He wasn’t used to people asking for his trust. Usually, they would just demand it from him, along with his respect. This was… Different, but not unwelcome. 003 jolted, hurriedly looking back at the destroyed tanks. She shouted in a panicked tone, “Watch out!”
Numerous compartments on the destroyed tanks opened, releasing strange metal disks with eyes and tentacles spinning into the air. Harry took a half step back, his instincts telling him that these objects were far more dangerous than they looked. This was confirmed when they latched onto various members of the group, and 003 shouted that the disks had some form of stinger that could paralyze them. Harry, while nervous, wasn’t too surprised by that. Harry hit the switch in his mouth when he saw some of the disks heading for 003 and 001. What scummy piece of dung would attack an unarmed woman and a baby?! He wouldn’t stand for it!
He shot forward, intent on smashing as many of the devices as possible. Each disk easily crumbled under his punches and kicks as he darted around the group. When his Acceleration mode timed out, the others seemed surprised by the sudden loss of attackers. Though once they spotted his change in position compared to them, they quickly figured out who had gotten rid of them.
“Amazing,” breathed 007. He heard the grey haired one speak up.
“He’s farther along than we thought.” Harry wasn’t sure what he meant, but he hoped that was some form of compliment.
“Watch out! There’s more of them!” 003 shouted, leaping closer. Harry looked back, seeing more of the disks being sent into the sky.
“Bloody hell, why can’t things ever be easy?” He groused, as they started forming some sort of snake-worm creature that towered over the group. Harry felt his hackles rising as he looked at the things’ single, unblinking eye.
“Be careful!” called 003, though as far as Harry was concerned, the warning wasn’t really needed. The creature started firing lasers from its tentacles, forcing the young wizard to dive into a forward roll to escape. His attention was quickly caught by the shouts of pain and surprise from the other fighters. He turned to see that they’d been hoisted into the air by the robot, which seemed to be trying to crush them in its iron grip.
“Use this!” the silver-haired man shouted in a strained voice, as he freed enough of his arm to throw his gun to Harry. The green-eyed teen barely caught it. He bit back a curse. Somehow he knew how to use the weapon, but with how far-sighted he was at the moment, he could barely see the darn thing! He quickly checked the buttons. To his relief, each one was a different color, which let him tell them apart. He hit the red button, setting it to ray-gun mode. Now, to figure out how to take that thing out.
He fired a preliminary shot. He needed to test a theory about the thing. The creature broke apart, but its pieces flew around Harry and reformed behind him. The rest of the group (minus Harry, 003 and 001) were still trapped, and looking a tad queasy from how quickly the disks had been spinning through the air. He gritted his teeth. It seemed he was right. While he knew he was strong enough to break the segments, he was pretty sure they would just reassemble themselves with the surviving disks each time he attacked. He needed a way to kill the power for all of them without using magic…
“Before it combines, aim for the fourth sphere’s connector.” Came 001’s voice. He looked back at the other two, uncaptured people. 003 was giving him a determined stare.
“For a second the joints are released. That’s where the heart is.” Harry nodded giving her a smile.
“I understand. Thanks.” She seemed surprised by him saying that, but he didn’t pay too much attention to that. He quickly turned and fired a second shot from the ray gun which made the robot split apart again. His eyes tracked the movement of the disks, counting the segments as they assembled. Without speaking, he switched on his acceleration mode. It was time to put his seeker skills to good use. Still keeping his distance (mostly so he could see the blasted thing) he easily got into position and fired right through the opening between the joints. The core made a fabulous explosion sending people and pieces flying in every direction. The fragments fell apart once the control unit (which must’ve been with the heart) was destroyed. There was a moment of silence, and Harry turned back to the group.
“Is everyone alright?” he asked, his voice clear and calm, his far too kind heart kicking in again. Noises of confirmation rang throughout the group (some more reluctant than others), earning a pleased smile from the black haired boy. “Good. Now then, I just have just one question to ask.” He was sure they were all staring at him, wondering what he wanted to know.
“Would somebody please explain to me what the bloody hell is going on here?!”
During the far too long run through the heat of the desert-like area around them to get to the “airport”, Harry finally got the answers he’d been looking for out of the group. It seemed him blowing his top at them had made them remember that he was basically coming in blind. And, after a bit of pestering and picking at various members of the group, they’d finally explained the basics of what was going on to him.
Apparently, he had been made into a cyborg, a half human and half robot hybrid. His number was 009 and the rest of the group were the cyborgs made before him, numbering 1 through 8. The silver-haired man, who was finally introduced to him as 004 and was essentially a walking artillery, had told him that they were all pretty much kidnapped off the streets from various places in the world. The only thing consistent about the abductions was that, for one reason or another, the group that took them made sure that they weren’t going to be missed if they disappeared. Harry would have said that he would’ve been missed, but then he remembered the “cover story” his relatives gave for why he disappeared every year. With that kind of reputation, it was pretty easy to understand why he’d been taken.
This also confirmed that none of these people knew about magic, as no one who wanted to remain hidden would’ve abducted the “Boy-who-Lived” (even with the Daily Prophet’s smear campaign), and if the other cyborgs knew they would’ve recognized him by now. Though he wouldn’t be surprised if his captors now had an inkling that he possessed magic, even if they didn’t know that was what it was. He really hoped they hadn’t destroyed his wand or something.
Now he and his fellow cyborgs were trudging through a water-logged series of cave tunnels (which really reminded Harry of the trek to the Chamber of Secrets, but with more water and less stink) to steal an enemy plane for their escape. He mostly stayed near the back of the group since he really didn’t know much about what they were doing and, as such, felt it was a better idea to let them take the lead. The tunnels felt old and completely natural, which meant that they hadn’t been made by the enemy and, as such, there were no booby traps waiting for them. They probably only used it as an emergency escape route for the scientists, which was good for the rebelling cyborgs. The only thing that really bugged Harry about the trek was how much noise their splashing footsteps made. If they had robots doing patrols down there, the group would be sitting ducks. 002, who was leading them, stopped.
“Wait, brute force will only set off the alarms,” 007 murmured, stopping 005 from stepping forward. Harry watched the adult shrink himself down to some form of a small animal (a mouse? So long as it wasn’t a rat, Harry honestly didn’t care). “I hope there are no cats up there!” And with that, he skittered up what seemed to be a metal ladder. There was an odd feeling coiling in his stomach. He frowned, his attention turning inward, trying to decipher the feeling. Without his sight and his magic, he had to rely on his instincts, his remaining senses, and his strange new powers for help and protection.
“Hey, 009. 009?” Harry snapped back to reality, blinking at the red clothes in front of him before his eyes trailed up to the silver-haired person wearing them. It must be 004, he was the only one with silver hair. Oh, right, duh. 009 was his latest nickname, wasn’t it? “You alright, 009?”
“Huh? O-oh, yes. Yes, I’m fine. Just got lost in thought, that’s all. Sorry ‘bout that.” Harry said, before adding in an awkward mutter, “Still need to get used to the new nickname though.” As if I need any more alternate names. He couldn’t see the older man’s expression, but he was pretty sure he believed him. Though he probably thought that Harry wasn’t giving him all the details.
“Right… 007 got the trap door open, so we need to get moving. C’mon.” Harry nodded and followed after 004. He was sure that if he hadn’t seen 004 climbing the ladder he would have ended up walking into it. In fact, he nearly did, but he was able to pass it off as him losing his footing due to the wet floor. The wizard’s discomfort only increased as the crept through the halls an encountered almost no resistance.
“Something’s not right,” said 004. “There are no guards.”
“Did they run away?” asked 006.
Harry’s gut twisted uncomfortably as 003 gave them instructions on where to go next. Where were the guards? Shouldn’t there be patrols if this was an important place? There’s no way the people attacking them would just run away. With all the fighting on their way to the “airport” the enemy should have figured out where they were headed by now. This reeked of a setup.
Or maybe the Fake-Moody’s paranoia really had rubbed off on him in fourth year. Then again, it wasn’t paranoia if people really were out to get you. Constant vigilance had been his motto after all. Or had that been the real Moody’s motto? He wasn’t sure, he technically never met the real Moody.
He followed after 004, staying within arms’ reach of the older male. He would have hovered near 003, as she didn’t seem to have much in the way of combat skills (not to mention that she had her arms full carrying 001 around), but the rest of the group was already bracketing her from any potential threats. And, as the saying went, too many cooks ruined the soup. From what he’d seen earlier, 004 was perfectly capable of taking care of himself, so he would probably do a better job of holding off attackers than the others. And Harry, as much as he disliked it, needed all the protection he could get at the moment. Because of his eyesight, he couldn’t do a very good job of protecting himself if the enemy got the jump on him.
Harry still hadn’t come clean about his eye troubles, but that would have to wait until the group was no longer in danger. And maybe until he was near a place where he could get new glasses.
The wizard watched as 008 carefully opened a door and made a sign to the rest of the group. He assumed that it meant the coast was clear since everyone began to file through. The twisting, anxious feeling in his gut became worse with each passing second. 002 pointed towards a seaplane docked in the water bay ahead of them.
“That’s it,” said the red-head, pleased smirk settling in place. “Looks operational. Let’s move.” They barely got five steps in before Harry’s intuition screamed at him. The small teen launched forwards, seized 002’s arm (ignoring his surprised shout), and wrenched them both back just before a heavy, steel wall slammed down where 002 had been standing moments before. A second slam alerted them to a second wall closing behind them, sealing the group in.
“You okay?” Harry asked 002. The red-head shook off his arm and concern with a clipped “I’m fine.” and stood up from where they’d landed on the floor. Harry, who’d always had heightened senses thanks to his bad eyesight, noted there was faint quiver to his voice. Obviously, he’d been shaken by the incident, but was trying to play it off.
“Damn!” 002 cursed, pushing at the first wall. “They set a trap for us!” 005 reeled his fist back and punched the wall, but it did nothing to damage it. Obviously, strength wasn’t the way to go.
“Stand back 005,” said 008. He opened fired with his pistol, but the shot merely ricocheted throughout the room. Harry cursed as it zipped past his face. It seemed their weapons didn’t work either. 006 pushed his way in front.
“Let’s try this then,” he said. He took a deep breath, then breathed out a column of fire at the first wall. This did nothing beyond winding the man. “Hmm, it didn’t work.” Harry could feel his unbalanced magic responding to his faint distress. Yes, he could put up with being in a small, enclosed space, but only if he knew he had a way of getting out. He took a few, slow, deep breaths to reign in his whirling magic. He did not need to have another burst of uncontrolled magic. Any more of them and he’d probably exhaust his core.
Harry nearly jumped out of his skin as a strange voice started laughing.
“Of course it didn’t work.” Said a harsh voice. The wall lights went out, plunging the cyborgs into darkness. Near blinding, white lights were switched on above them, causing many to flinch and try to shade their eyes. Harry spent a moment blinking the spots out of his eyes before trying to focus on where the voice had come from. Standing on the transparent ceiling/floor above the cyborgs was a small group of sunglass and lab coat wearing scientists. Harry found his eyes being drawn to two scientists in specific. A particularly unpleasant scientist with messy hair and far too prominent lips spoke. “The limits of your abilities have been programmed into the system.”
“Damn, you guys tricked us.”
“Go back to the laboratory right away, we still need more data.” Ordered the scientist next to Big lips (as Harry mentally dubbed him). His hair was white, his nose was large, and he was a tad on the chubby side, but he didn’t bother Harry as much as the other man. Harry couldn’t help noticing that the man’s words sounded oddly forced.
“What?!” snapped 008. “We’re not robots!”
“Your rebellion should stop at once, this is not the reason we gave you powers,” said the first scientist, his lips curved in an unpleasant smile. Harry bristled at the man. He did not like the way the man was looking at him.
“Gave?” 004 asked, his tone harsh. “So you’re saying we should be thankful for this?”
“Do you think we wanted to have bodies like this?!” 003 said loudly, just shy of shouting. “And getting reconstructed like this?” Harry’s stomach clenched at that. He still had trouble wrapping his mind around that. He really hoped these “Black Ghost” people had a wretched time working on him because of his magic. Big lips chuckled.
“They are wonderful powers. Powers exceeding human strength. Science defe- “He froze as a voice cut in with a sharp “Enough”. Harry’s attention was returned to the other scientist, who was now being held at gunpoint by one of his colleagues. “You’re with the cyborgs?” The “traitor” smiled, then revealed himself as 007. Harry had forgotten he wasn’t with them but was definitely glad the older man had decided to take a different route than them.
“I’m not just with them, I’m part of the inner circle!” 007 said cheerfully. Big nose tried to sneak up on the morphing cyborg but was quickly brought to gunpoint as well. “I’d suggest you let my friends go, or you’ll be breathing through a third nostril.”
“Ah, is now soon enough?” He said nervously. Holding the man hostage, 007 was able to rejoin the group with little fuss. The ten calmly walked towards the plane, carefully ignoring the soldiers lining up along the walls.
“Don’t fire! The cyborgs know the self-destruct code of the base! If I die they’ll destroy this place. I’m the only one who knows the abort code.” He watched the others boarding the plane, and quietly followed after them. Until 003 stopped at least.
“This is your only chance to back out,” said 001 from her arms. “Once you get on that plane there’s no going back.”
“Will you come with us?” 003 asked. Harry started chuckling.
“Y’know, this is a lousy time to ask that. You’re pretty much giving me an all or nothing choice here. If I go, I’ll be a fugitive; If I stay, I’ll be a lab experiment.” He started walking forward, an almost lazy smile on his face. He dutifully ignored any look on the woman’s face. It wasn’t like he could see it anyways. “Either way, I’m in big trouble! I might as well go with the one choice that’ll keep me from being alone, right?”
Harry slipped past the others who’d stopped in the entrance of the plane to hear his response. Managing to find the cockpit after a touch of trial an error (and after trying a trick he’d once read a blind wizard had used to get around safely. Think sonar only with pulses of magic instead of radio waves. It was surprisingly effective for something that only required will and not spell work. He still bumped into the ladder the first few times he was experimenting with it, and the grey, washed-out world was something he’d need to get used to.)
Settling in a chair at the back, Harry listened as the engine of the plane shifted to a roar as the vehicle started moving. Curiosity winning out, he shifted the seat closer to the window and watched as it took to the air, land, and sea falling away as they took off. He looked over to where 004 stood.
He carefully stood, wandering over to where the man stood, holding out the gun he’d lent Harry.
“I think I should return this.” He said softly. He made a discrete pulse, mapping out the older man’s face in his mind. The man tilted his head slightly, a small smile being caught by the pulse.
“Thanks, but you can keep that.” Harry blinked, and the man raised his right hand. Wordlessly reminding him that said hand was a weapon. The green-eyed boy let out a soft “oh”. Before hesitantly attaching the weapon back on his belt.
003 approached him, and he practiced the pulse once more. Mapping her face and the face of 001, who held a hand out to him. Harry paused, and carefully held out a finger for 001 to grasp.
“Glad to have you, 009.” Harry gave him a weary smile.
“And now that you do, don’t expect losing me to be easy.” I just hope the Potter Luck won’t kick in anytime soon.